Emily Dover is an Australian little girl of five years old, who suffers from a rare pathology: Addison’s disease. This unusual condition means her parents will be obliged to trigger the menopause in their daughter, via an extremely expensive treatment.
Puberty at 2 years old, periods at 4
At only two years of age, little Emily Dover’s chest started to develop and she began to get acne on her face, like happens to many adolescents. At the age of four, her periods started and she began to develop significant body hair. Upon observing such surreal symptoms, doctors concluded that unfortunately she was affected by Addison’s disease.
Addison’s disease: an extremely rare pathology
Addison’s disease, also known as primary adrenal insufficiency and hypocortisolism is caused by malfunctioning of the adrenal glands, which do not secrete enough steroid hormones. Extremely rare, this pathology leads to symptoms such as low blood pressure, abdominal pain, significant fatigue and depression. This disease has been known about since the 16th century and was first documented by a British man called Thomas Addison. It affects only very few people every year (four to six new cases per million).
A costly treatment that involves triggering the menopause
Emily’s mother has talked about the difficulties in explaining to her daughter what was happening. She said that Emily knows she is different, and because of this difference, she appears to be « very conscious of her body ». As incredible as it may seem, Emily will have to undergo significant and difficult treatment, with the goal of triggering menopause. The family are not able to fund this costly treatment alone, and they have launched a crowd funding campaign on GoFundMe, seeking the help of the internet community.